Definition of fracture in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfraktʃə/


[mass noun]
1The cracking or breaking of a hard object or material: ground movements could cause fracture of the pipe
More example sentences
  • The authors conclude from this study that the risk of hip fracture in elderly persons can be greatly reduced by the use of a hip-protector device.
  • They are potentially suitable for use by older people at high risk of hip fracture rather than older people generally.
  • Today there is a wide range of therapeutic options and several safe and effective medical treatments to reduce the risk of fracture by up to 50 per cent.
1.1 [count noun] A crack or break in a hard object or material, typically a bone or a rock stratum: a fracture of the left leg
More example sentences
  • Stress fractures are partial fractures, often hairline cracks in the bone, caused by repeated stress.
  • Direct injury to the spine may cause a bone fracture anywhere along your vertebral column.
  • Bone scanning is sensitive but not specific for detecting stress fractures, healing fractures, infections and tumors.
1.2The physical appearance of a freshly broken rock or mineral, especially as regards the shape of the surface formed: obsidian shows a conchoidal fracture
More example sentences
  • Alteration of this mineral has produced an unusual abundance of vivianite coatings on fracture surfaces in the rock.
  • It forms attractive dendrites on fracture surfaces.
  • The mineral is brittle with a conchoidal to uneven fracture.
2 Phonetics The replacement of a simple vowel by a diphthong owing to the influence of a following sound, typically a consonant.
2.1 [count noun] A diphthong substituted by fracture.


1Break or cause to break: [no object]: the stone has fractured [with object]: ancient magmas fractured by the forces of wind and ice
More example sentences
  • His characters are fractured, broken people, who find happiness too late and too unsatisfactorily, if at all.
  • Broken columns of rock fractured from the face are tumbled like a game of jackstraws below.
  • This inequality leads to fracturing within the stone and eventual disintegration.
break, snap, crack, cleave, rupture, shatter, smash, smash to smithereens, fragment, splinter, split, separate, burst, blow out;
sever, divide, tear, rend;
informal bust
rare shiver
1.1 [with object] Sustain a fracture of (a bone): (as adjective fractured) a fractured skull
More example sentences
  • The scaphoid is the most commonly fractured bone of the wrist.
  • The mammalian liver can regenerate if a part of it is removed, the antlers of male deer regenerate each year, and fractured bones can mend by a regenerative process.
  • She has never required any surgical procedures or fractured any bones.
broken, cracked, splintered, shattered, ruptured
1.2(With reference to a group or organization) split or fragment and become unable to function or exist: [no object]: the movement had fractured without his leadership
More example sentences
  • But the splits that fractured the women's movement are hairline cracks compared with the schisms within the Pankhurst family itself.
  • By the time he had resigned from his position he'd fractured the organization in two and been accused by his own department as being ‘dangerous’.
  • Generations are split up and badly fractured like never before.
1.3 (as adjective fractured) (Of speech or a language) faltering and full of mistakes; broken: they’d misinterpreted his fractured English
More example sentences
  • But in China these days, fractured French and its equally mal-appropriate cousins are no laughing matter.
  • Half-understood insults and ironic declarations of love converge into a disorienting swirl of fractured English and pidgin Arabic.
  • On the other hand, I love sketching building plans and am well capable of pursuing recalcitrant plumbers and joiners in fractured French.


Late Middle English: from French, or from Latin fractura, from frangere 'to break'.

Words that rhyme with fracture

facture, manufacture

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: frac|ture

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